Layout Area and Initial Frame Construction 
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Work Table Work area and table

The work area is in the basement under our family room. Fluorescent shop lights are staggered for even illumination. The work table is a piece of 4x8'x3/4" Melamine coated particle board. It has a nice smooth layout surface. The Melamine the tracings from the carbon paper very well. The plans provided by GLen-L are "half plans". Since the boat is symmetrical about the center line, only 1/2 of each frame is shown in the plans. A line is drawn on the table as a vertical reference across center of short dimension of the table as a plan reference line. Plans are shown on wall. The wall and floor are painted white to greatly brighten work area.

Tracing one of the carlins (top frame bows that support the deck). Pencil indicates match of traced lines on board and of the blueprint after flipping for second half.

Ordinary carbon paper was used. A small pack was enough for the entire boat. Glen-L has large sheets of tracing paper available.

I used White Ash for the frames. White Oak would be my choice for the next boat. White oak was used for the shears and worked out well and is more rot resistant. The reason for the ash was there were a number of articles on the web warning of problems with oak and epoxy. With proper surface prep, this has been proven to not be an issue/

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Frame on Table

Individual boat station frame

Boat frame on table being test fitted. Note the plastic sheeting, which is used to protect table and plans from the epoxy. The center framework is clamped to table to set the reference line for the floor gusset, which is a very critical dimension. Align this piece with a try square set vertically.

The floor gusset rests on the motor stringers. If this is set up properly, then the frame alignment and initial fairing will go smoothly. Remember, errors here are magnified at the chine and sheer by greater than 2:1. 

Accuracy here pays off in greatly reduced fairing effort later.

The floor gussets are Fir marine plywood. Next time, I would recommend Okoume instead of the fir for ease of working and finishing. The chine gussets are Okoume marine plywood. The Fir has superior rot resistance, but has a MUCH greater tendency to chip and delaminate, whether in initial shaping or even after coating with epoxy.

Transom

Here is the transom of the boat after the third stage of its glue-up. This piece is curved in three dimensions. It is impossible to glue up in a single session. I started with the left and right bottom pieces the first day. The second day they were fastened together with the center cross piece. The third day the balance of the parts were added.

Remember that epoxy also works as a lubricant until hardened. Keep the glue off of the clamp pads. I use the Jorgensen F clamps and also the clamp pads (orange). The pads reduce slippage, denting of the work pieces, and it is also possible to peel them off of hardened epoxy.

Coat the bars of the clamps with paste wax to make clean up of epoxy easier, even after it has hardened.

More high resolution transom frame photos.

Transom on Table
Boat Frame

Rough frame setup


Boat frame after initial leveling of motor stringers. Here the clamps are temporarily holding the frame and stringer in position while the level is being checked and just prior to screwing the support legs to the motor stringer. I used 5 screws per leg which seems to be rigid enough to avoid having to put longitudinal diagonal braces in.

As shown here, the stringers are redwood. I would strongly recommend white oak or ash for the stringers. They take a lot of abuse from skis, boards, anchors, etc. The soft wood does not hold up well and the epoxy flakes off. To withstand the abuse of normal handling, the redwood needs to be covered with fiberglass. The redwood simply coated with epoxy looked terrible after only one season. The fiberglass covering has held up well for 4 seasons. Conversely, the ash frames, battens and other interior parts have held up very well without requiring fiberglass reinforcement.

Next: Boat Frame Part 2

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This page last updated 10/16/04                        2000-2004 Mark Bronkalla